British luxury car maker, Bentley, knows how to make waves in the auto industry. Three years ago at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, they unveiled their new flagship sedan, the Mulsanne.
On the same event three years later, Bentley followed it up with the Mulsanne Vision Concept, a convertible version of the Mulsanne and the likely successor of the Azure as their top-dollar convertible model.
While the company didn’t release official photos of the Mulsanne Vision Concept, they did drop a number of sketch photos of the convertible concept, all while touting it as the potential future of the marque’s flagship family.
"The modern, luxurious, high-tech Mulsanne saloon provides a perfect foundation on which to create the world’s most elegant convertible," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive. "The Convertible Concept will extend the appeal of the Mulsanne family, while enhancing the profile of the Bentley brand, particularly in new and emerging markets."
The Mulsanne Vision Concept exudes the elegant and graceful form of a coach-built marque car, complete with sculpted lines and muscular haunches that convey a sense of power and movement to the luxury car. The interior of the concept was also described as having a spacious yet intimate cabin design that’s inspired by luxurious, high-performance power boats.
Noted for its unrivaled combination of chic, contemporary design, and the painstaking attention to detail and luxury refinement that Bentley is known for, the Mulsanne Convertible Concept is yet another proof that when it comes to high-end luxury, only a few can lay claim to Bentley’s position as one of the best in the business.
We automotive industry folk like to read between the lines to dig up stories and sometimes we’re right, but a lot of the time we’re off the mark. One between-the-lines story is surrounding the much debated Bentley EXP 9F and its relation to the extra week that the Crewe, England plant will be shut down this summer.
Automotive plant shutdowns are no huge ordeal, as they have become pretty much commonplace in the modern automotive world. These shutdowns are designed to help reduce costs during low-production times, which are normally toward the end of the summer. The Bentley plant in Crewe, England typically closes its doors in August for two weeks to allow workers to rest and to help keep costs down, but this year that time frame has been extended to three weeks.
That would normally be chalked up as additional cutbacks, but the reasons given for the extra time off included enabling a number of facility changes in preparation for future productivity increases. Well, Bentley is not one to put out a new model each and every year and their productivity level does not change each year, so the only reason productivity would increase would be the addition of a new model. Add in the fact that the only new model that we know of in development is the EXP 9F, and you can see why we think that this extra shutdown is to get ready for the production phase of this love-it-or-hate-it SUV.
As we said earlier, we could be completely incorrect, but that slip of the tongue by Bentley is pretty telling. This is especially telling when dealing with a company that only sells fewer than 10,000 cars per year.
We’ll keep you updated with any new information or rumors that may pop up around the possible release of the EXP 9F as more news becomes available.
It’s time to put an end to all of the rumors surrounding the future Bentley SUV by talking about the real deal. Bentley has unveiled the EXP 9 F at the Geneva Motor Show. This luxury Sport Utility Vehicle concept previews the company’s third model alongside the Mulsanne and the Continental ranges.
The new EXP 9 F looks just how one would expect a Bentley SUV to look. The designers basically took the standard Bentley styling cues and hiked it up to an SUV level. It features Bentley’s famous matrix grille and round lamps, as well as an ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate and twin exhaust tailpipes.
The engine for the EXP 9 F, however, still remains a mystery. The concept was built with a 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine under the hood, but the company says that, for the production version, both a 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements.
UPDATE 07/06/2012: Bentley has unveiled a new set of images and a new video for their new EXP 9 F concept. Enjoy!
UPDATE 11/20/12: There’s word that Bentley has come up with a name for the production EXP 9 F. While there’s no official confirmation, but it looks like the SUV will be dubbed as the Falcon.
UPDATE 02/03/13: The Falcon has come and gone. That much appears to be the case after word has come out that Bentley has gone ahead and thrown the EXP 9 F to the dustbin. Can’t say we’re surprised, fellas.
Hit the jump to read more about the Bentley EXP 9 F concept.
The styling of the Bentley EXP 9 F has been criticized to such an extent that the British marque confirmed it was already back to the drawing board to refine it, but that hasn’t stopped it from speculating about the engines which could be found under its hood. And all of this has been done without Bentley actually confirming that the EXP 9 F is going into production, but it seems pretty obvious now that it definitely is.
Anyway, it’s almost completely certain that the EXP 9 F will be offered with Bentley’s massive 6.0-liter W12 engine which has been around for years now, and in SUV-spec, it could pump out in excess of 600HP and 590 lb-ft of torque. However, very few customers will be willing to buy an SUV with a gas-guzzling W12, so Bentley has suggested that the brand new 4.0-liter V8 engine from the new Continental is a likely contender, while a far more affordable V6 plug-in hybrid may also be developed and utilized.
The V8 engine would likely remain in the same tune as it is when coupled with the Continental GT and will slash carbon emissions by 40 percent over the gargantuan W12. As for the plug-in hybrid, well very little is known about it at the moment, but it should have the capability of traveling up to 19 miles in fully- electric mode and when combined with the new six-cylinder engine, it could even launch the heavy SUV to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds.
Hopefully Bentley will release more details about the V6 when it officially confirms the EXP 9 F for production in the coming months, and we’ll be sure to bring you that news straightaway.
The U.S. has long been Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, and Bentley’s largest market partly due to its massive population, but mainly because Americans really love their exotic cars. However, just last year China overtook the U.S. as Lamborghini’s biggest market, and became Ferrari’s second largest market. If you want further evidence of just how popular luxurious cars are becoming in China, then take a look at the title.
Yep, China has become Bentley’s largest market after a massive increase in sales in the first quarter of this year. An incredible 578 Bentley models have been sold in China thus far, while ‘only’ 450 units were sold in the U.S. However, sales in the U.S. did grow by 40% from this time last year, so that just goes to show how incredible the Chinese market currently is.
It’s literally come out of the shadows in the past few years to become the focal point of dozens of automotive manufacturers. However, with China’s economy beginning to slow, Bentley’s chief operating officer, Christophe Georges believes these figures won’t be maintained stating, “The Chinese and U.S. markets are both strong. I don’t see (China’s lead) as a permanent situation.”
One of the key reasons why Georges believes the U.S. will remain Bentley’s largest market in the long run is due to new showrooms being constructed in Nashville, Thousand Oaks, and Charlotte. Furthermore, Bentley is expected to launch a brand new SUV in the coming three years, and while the Chinese do indeed love their SUVs, they cannot match the love for them that Americans have.
It’s amazing what a couple of college kids can come up with. Our latest college kid find is the Bentley Silver Wings concept car which was designed by Shawn Wood and Guohua Cheng, two industrial designers who recently graduated from the Industrial Design course at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts (TAFA), China. The concept takes inspiration from the F22 Raptor jet fighter and theLe Mans racing cars. Of course, the concept also follows Bentley’s usual design language.
The concept was designed as a mid-engined successor for the 1999 Hunaudieres Concept. The car’s exterior design features an aggressive spoiler with large air intakes, combined with the trademark domed grille and twin circular headlights, large rear air intakes for the rear brakes, and the 20" or 21" wheels.
The two designers did not offer an engine specification for the concept car, but we will not be surprised to see a V10 or a V12 under the hood. It really doesn’t matter what we think though because there is no chance that this concept will ever see the end of a production line.
Bentley is all about elegance and luxury, and those that know the name well understand that the brand takes good care of its reputation as one of the auto industry’s most esteemed car brands.
If you’re a young designer looking to make a name for yourself, creating renderings should serve as a good way to not only hone your skills, but also – if they’re good enough – to get some attention for your work.
Alexander Kotlyarevsky’s rendering of this Bentley R-Type certainly fits that bill. Keeping true to the British marquee’s reputation as a luxury automaker, Kotlyarevsky’s rendering comes with an elegant styling that’s also infused with some aggressive, modern touches that highlight the concept’s classic yet modern look.
More than the aesthetics, the young designer also gave this concept quite a powertrain featuring an 8.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces a mind-boggling 800 horsepower and 1600 Nm of torque with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 240 mph.
Judging the book by its cover, we give a lot of credit to Kotlyarevsky for the cutting-edge look of the R-Type concept. It’s certainly something we’d endorse to the folks over at Bentley.
For the longest time, Bentley has carefully crafted a reputation as one of the most esteemed and luxurious auto brands in the world. Classic, elegant, and timeless, when it comes to these descriptions, Bentley holds a backseat to absolutely no one.
That being said, imagine one of the most iconic Bentleys in the world in the form of the 1929 Bentley Blower to be given a more modern ’feel’, so to speak. Conservative Bentley afficionados may cringe at the thought of ruining a classic, but for those who don’t mind bringing in a little more edge to the Blower, then we invite you to check out this fantastical design by Marc Senger, the Bentley Dynamo.
Now, it’s not exactly in tune with what Bentley has been building lately, but given the structural design of the 1929 Blower, this is about as modern as it can get without going all Jetsons on the car. Couple the design - not to mention, those sexy front open wheels - with the original’s 4.3-liter four-cylinder engine and you have a car that the esteemed founders of the brand would be proud of. After all, there’s going to come a point in time where a brand’s history clasps with modern times, and this car certainly fits that bill.
Having said all that, there’s still a likely chance that we won’t see anything like this from Bentley in the near future. As one of those brands that are conscious about their image, it’s highly unlikely that they’d depart from what they’re doing these days to build something like this.
Then again, stranger things have happened.
Following up Bentley’s recent 50-year celebration of the legendary 6.75-liter V-8, the company is readying a all-new model powered by biofuel. Currently, the car is known simply as the Extreme Bentley and it will debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show. While Bentley’s current top-performance car, Bentley Continental GT, puts out 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, Bentley says its new car will be the company’s “fastest, most powerful car ever” – those are some pretty big words if you ask us. More importantly though, the new biofuel-powered car is just the first phase in an initiative Bentley plans to spread across its lineup by 2012 with a goal to reduce carbon emissions of its overall fleet by 15 percent and, with an advanced new powertrain, help cut fuel consumption by up to 40 percent.
The Extreme Bentley sports a unique, but instantly recognizable Bentley design – briefly revealed in a teaser video Bentley showed on its Web site. Up front, the quad lamps and large mesh grille reflect the look of the Arnage, Azure, Brooklands and Continental, while the long hood and swept roofline should give the car an aggressive stance. The Extreme Bentley will mark the first flex fuel Bentley vehicle to which Bentley believes that bioethanol fuels, such as E85 in the United States, will become a sustainable and ethical alternative fossil fuels in the future. Short of the electric-powered Tesla Roadster, the Extreme Bentley, being such a powerful car that also takes the environment into consideration, should revolutionize luxury sport cars.
A Bentley Motors apprentice team has won a special “Spirit of Greenpower” award for its performance in the Greenpower Corporate Challenge which took place at Goodwood race circuit yesterday. The Bentley apprentice team designed, engineered and built the electric powered car which they entered into the Greenpower Challenge as well as a season of “F24+” racing.
The Bentley Greenpower car is called Continental DC (Direct Current) and runs off a 24-volt motor supplied by two 12-volt batteries. Designed for lightness and maximum power efficiency the one-seater Continental DC has a carbon fibre chassis and low resistance tyres.
The Continental DC is powered by a 24v Motor that delivers 0.5bhp and 5.1 lb ft. It is capable of hitting a top speed of 40 mph and has Zero CO2 emissions.
Technical specifications after the jump.
Bentley Motor Cars revealed a dramatic concept car the Hunaudieres at 1999 Geneva Motor Show, one year after Volkswagen became the owner of Bentley company. This supercar project provides the debut of a new 16 cylinder engine developed to a specific brief to provide a technologically advanced power plant with unique Bentley characteristics.
It is powered by a W-16 engine, developed by VW, who actually combined two V-8 engines together at an angle of 72 degrees, a displacement of 8 litres (...)